Army Paratrooper Charged in 2013 Kidnapping and Rape of Minor

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This image provided by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office shows Levi Austin Goss, a Fort Bragg paratrooper from Texas who has been charged in a 2013 sexual assault near Houston. (Harris County Sheriff’s Office via AP) -- The Associated Press

A soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in 2013 in Texas, leaving her to die from the hatchet wounds he inflicted on her, according to investigators in the case.

Pfc. Levi Goss, who is being held the Cumberland County, North Carolina Jail, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and aggravated kidnapping. He is awaiting extradition to Harris County, Texas, according to ABC News.

Goss is currently assigned to the 82nd Airborne Sustainment Brigade.

Officials from the 82nd Airborne say they are cooperating the Harris County Sheriff's office on the case and that alleged incident occurred before Goss entered the U.S. Army in 2016, 82nd Airborne spokesman Lt. Colonel Joe Buccino told Military.com.

Goss is also being investigated by military authorities in connection with another sexual assault in North Carolina, according to KHOU.com, a CBS affiliate news organization.

Fort Bragg officials said "Goss was pending separation from the Army for an unrelated offense when we were notified by authorities in Texas of the allegation that predates his military service," Buccino told Military.com.

Buccino would not discuss the circumstances of the Army investigation.

"We do not comment on ongoing investigations, therefore we cannot disclose any information regarding the nature of this unrelated offense," Buccino said. "The Army criminal justice system will continue its due diligence with regard to that offense. Further, we will continue to coordinate with civilian authorities as this process continues."

In a recent press conference, aired on ABC News, Harris County Sheriff's investigators described how the 16-year-old female victim was viciously attacked on the night of Feb. 5, 2013 in North West Harris County.

Wearing ninja style mask and dark clothing, the alleged attacker struck the victim numerous times in the head with what investigators believe to have been a hatchet, according to the press briefing.

The victim managed to walk away to a nearby movie theater a half a mile away and get help. From there she was airlifted to a nearby hospital, investigators in the briefing said. She believed her attacker only left her alone once that he believed that she was dead, investigators said.

The case lingered on for years without being solved until Jan. 22 2018 when investigators received a notification from the Harris County Institute for Forensic Science that a DNA link had been established in this case, according to the press briefing.

The forensic institute received a DNA match from the Department of the Army U.S. Investigation Laboratory, ABC reported. Harris County authorities traveled to North Carolina to interview Goss, who provided "key information" to the case, according to ABC.

An extradition hearing was held Monday for Goss in Cumberland County, North Carolina. Goss waived extradition, according to WTVD. Harris County authorities expect Goss to be back in Texas within the next 10 days.

Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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